The Typing of the Dead: Overkill

by ayashi 2.10.14

Yet another game marked off of my backlog!

I played the original The Typing of the Dead game on Dreamcast at Otakon around 2004 if I remember correctly. I was checking out the video game area with my sister and some friends, and when we came across The Typing of the Dead, we KNEW we had to play it. My sister is a fast and accurate typist. (I also type pretty quickly, but my twin is even better.) She sat down with whatever random stranger was also playing Typing of the Dead at the moment and thoroughly whooped his score (the game is co-op, but it was still fun to watch). My husband (then-boyfriend) and I ended up buying the game and played a lot at home. Unfortunately, the keyboards for our Dreamcast were lost in a move… no clue where they might be now, but hopefully they will turn up at some point.

When The Typing of the Dead: Overkill went on sale on Steam a couple of months ago, my husband and I decided that we had to buy it. Bought a copy for my sister, too.

Overkill is pretty cool in that it includes both Typing of the Dead and House of the Dead. I’ve never played a House of the Dead game, and I’m not sure I’m going to start since FPS isn’t normally my cup of tea, but it’s still nice to know that you get both versions of the game with one purchase.

If you liked the original Typing of the Dead, you’re going to find this one fun, if only for the nostalgia factor. There’s a lot of different levels and types of enemies, though of course the way you attack them all is basically the same since you can’t aim with your keyboard. They manage to keep enemies feeling a little bit different by changing up the words or letters you need to type (sometimes a single letter, sometimes a word, sometimes a phrase). Something I missed from the original Typing of the Dead is that bosses in that game felt a lot more difficult to me because you had to type entire phrases and sometimes they were multiple sentences.

Difficulty overall is pretty low. I beat the game on normal (“Agent”) difficulty with absolutely no trouble. My only death was on the very last boss because it has a weird mechanic that I didn’t understand right away (my opinion is that it wasn’t very intuitive, unfortunately). I decided to give hard difficulty (“Motherfucker”) a shot today in co-op mode with my sister and it didn’t feel much different, other than losing civilians more easily.

Multiplayer mode was fun. My sister and I just played co-op story mode. It felt easy and it ¬†was humbling to remember how much faster my sister types than I do (and how much more accurately!). Unfortunately twice in just two hours we hit a bug where a zombie (sorry, a “mutant”) was killed but didn’t actually die. We then didn’t have anything to type to kill it and it would just attack one of us over and over until we died. We had to restart the game once because of that. The other time, my sister was stuck in that loop but I was not, and at some point the game progressed and she was pulled away from it before dying.

The plot was really campy/cheesy and if not for the fact that I kind of wanted to know what happened I mostly wanted to just skip ahead to being able to type at the monsters again. A certain blond stripper character was too stupid to live and it kind of felt like the game was making fun of itself with the portrayal of female characters but sometimes I couldn’t be sure. I tried not to think about it too much and just enjoyed the typing, though.

One thought I was having later on is that I love the format of the game and I hope there are other games with similar typing mechanics that are more child friendly to help kids learn how to type. I know I played a number of games when I was a kid that helped me learn to type, but none of them were as fun as Typing of the Dead. They did have less corpses though, so that was probably good.

Anyway, if you ever played and enjoyed the original Typing of the Dead, you’ll like this one. If you didn’t, but the idea of typing to kill zombies sounds fun, you’ll like this game. I think my biggest complaint is that even though I think they were kind of poking fun about the sexist stuff, it didn’t amuse me so much, and the bosses didn’t feel as different from the other enemies in Overkill as in the original Typing of the Dead. It’s pretty quick to play (I think I logged about 3 hours and that included some playing around with the mini games and did not include my co-op session with my sister) but since each session involves randomized kill words and phrases, it shouldn’t get old too quickly if you’re interested in playing again.

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I finally read Howl’s Moving Castle

by ayashi 2.6.14

and it was amazing!

I vaguely recall watching the movie at Otakon years ago. It must have been Otakon 2004? Anyway, while reading the book I was a bit dismayed to find that I could not remember a single thing about the movie. I am pretty sure that I watched it with Chris in one of the 35mm screening rooms but all I can vaguely remember is a scene of Sophie running around in the castle. I don’t even know if that is a real memory, so that’s great. Maybe someday I will find a schedule from 2004.

Anyway, this isn’t about the movie at all! I’ve heard they are fairly different, but who knows. Hopefully I’ll get to watching the movie again at some point. The book, however, was absolutely lovely! Howl’s Moving Castle was my first Diana Wynne Jones novel, but it definitely won’t be my last. Sophie was a really fun protagonist and I can’t say the situation she’s placed in at the beginning of the book isn’t unique. I love that her “thing” is talking to inanimate objects. I really grew to like the whole supporting cast too, even if it took me a while to warm up to Howl. In the Q&A at the end of the book, DWJ mentions how girls all want to marry Howl… but I certainly don’t think I’d want to marry a guy who floods everything with green slime when he’s in a pissy mood!

Very glad I finally gave this classic a shot.

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